• Question: Hello, do you know what GCSEs i would need to take to be a marine biologist?

    Asked by Holly to Beth, Evan, Hayley, Heather, Holly, Ian, Jennifer, Joanna, John, Katie, Marianne, Melanie, Michael, Ollie, Rebecca, Rebecca, Shona, Simon, Tadhg on 22 Sep 2016.
    • Photo: Evan Keane

      Evan Keane answered on 22 Sep 2016:


      So it’s weird for me to tell UK students to do maths, as in Ireland maths is compulsory all the way to A Level for all students, so I just assumed it was the same everywhere! Maths is very important, for everything.

      For marine biology you should certainly do biology. I am not sure if physics, chemistry or both would be a good supplement to that, as I’m not a marine biologist, but maybe there is one amongst the other scientists who can give more advice on that. I suspect chemistry might be more useful than physics for you, in addition to biology (and of course maths!!).

      Marine biologist sounds like a cool job 😀

    • Photo: Rebecca Dewey

      Rebecca Dewey answered on 22 Sep 2016:


      I would say that you absolutely need maths and biology – perhaps geography would be useful too – otherwise, it is probably more important to do well enough in your GCSEs to go on to do A-levels. Do what you enjoy and what you are good at.

    • Photo: Hayley Moulding

      Hayley Moulding answered on 22 Sep 2016:


      Hey Holly, I always wanted to be a marine biologist when I was younger! I used to write books about dolphins and stick pictures of dolphins and porpoises in it with my friend! Anyway, to be a marine biologist you will definitely need your sciences, maths and english for sure. I don’t think it would make a different if you did Geography or History though, but if you aspired to work in marine biology say abroad and you were good at a language, maybe doing geography and a language? That would be super cool!

    • Photo: Ian Hands-Portman

      Ian Hands-Portman answered on 22 Sep 2016:


      Whatever you want to do, doing Maths plus the three main sciences is a really good plan at GCSE – it keeps your options open.

    • Photo: Katie Mahon

      Katie Mahon answered on 23 Sep 2016:


      The best subjects would probably be maths, biology, geography – but keep up the subjects you like & are interested in!

    • Photo: Heather Ritchie

      Heather Ritchie answered on 14 Jul 2017:


      I studied in Scotland so I did Standard Grades which I believe are the equivalent to GCSEs. I would agree with everyone else’s answers that Maths, English and some Science subjects are essential but to give yourself some other subjects that you enjoy too!

      Just as a reference I studied English, Maths, French, Biology, Chemistry, History, Modern Studies (Politics) and Art at Standard Grade/GCSE. Then I studied Maths, English, Biology, Chemistry, Drama, Sociology and History at Highers and Maths and Biology at Advanced Higher level (I think A levels are around Higher/Advanced Higher level).

      When I applied for my BSc in Marine Biology the requirements at the university I attended were 5 highers at B which had to include English, and two sciences (where Maths is included as a science).

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